Homelessness In The North Of England


So, today I was walking to the city library and I saw something so unfortunate... There was an old man, sat on the bench near college, wrapped up in a blanket, he looked like he hadn't washed or shaved for days (which obviously was NOT his fault), he had a black bin bag next to him and oh my goodness it's just awful and quite obvious he was homeless.

Homelessness In The North Of England

Previously, when I've seen him I've just walked past because even though I want to give him something, I have nothing to give him- so I couldn't. But today, I'd just finished lunch but I left over my snickers bar. I was saving it for later, but he clearly needed it more than I do so I gave him my snickers bar and he thanked me and told me to have a nice weekend and I told him the same.

As I was walking down, guess what? I saw another homeless man. In a similar position to him. Wrapped in a blanket, layers on top of layers, he looked unwashed and like he hadn't shaved for days (which obviously was NOT his fault), and he was coughing and spluttering- he was clearly ill. But I had nothing more to give him.

When I see a homeless person, I am hesitant to give them money. Not all homeless people but a number of them, are probably addicted to drugs. Drug addiction is not their fault, terrible things happen in life, think 'what must have happened in one's life for them to stoop as low as drugs?' Most of the time it's not their addiction isn't their fault. But I am hesitant to give them money, in case they spend it on drugs to fuel their addiction. The last thing I want is a homeless person, dying of a drug overdose all because I gave them some money whilst they were on the streets.

So I give them food when I see them. And I see lots, and I can't give them all food, unfortunately.

But what I don't understand is why is this happening in 21st century Britain? We're a first world country, our elderly should not be on the streets, homeless, hungry, unhealthy and one of the worst case scanerios I can think of- addicted to drugs.

To be honest, I've only really been venturing out of my area alone, regularly, for a month- ever since college started. And I have seen so many homeless people on our streets, near college, within our city center and I can't understand it.

MPs can spend millions of taxpayers money on luxury items for themselves, and give themselves payrises, members of the Royal Family can use taxpayers money decorate their palace(s)- but we can't donate a few million to stop homelessness from happening.

I feel like society lacks so much understanding towards these people. We need to understand that anything can happen in one's life for them to become homeless, they could lose their job, the landlord might put the rent up, for some reason they might get evicted, family disputes can happen in which people are kicked out- and things I can't even think of because I'm only young and I don't understand everything.

But one thing I can understand, is that people don't deserve to be homeless. That elderly man I met, just looked so grateful for a small snickers bar- something which I have the privilege of just going to the tin and getting. Homelessness should not be happening in 21st century 1st world Britain- how dare we let this happen to people, especially our elderly.

I'm actually at the library right now as I am writing this- because it's much quieter than the college library, and my lunchbreak will be over soon, so I have to walk back up to college soon, and I know on my walk up I'll probably see even more homeless people- sights which break my heart.

So I have to close this MyTake off here, thank you for reading- and if you have any suggestions on how we can help the homeless, feel free to comment below on how because even the tiniest suggestion could lead to a huge help. :)

Thank you for reading :) <3

PS: This take is talking about the 'North of England' but I know homelessness happens in the South. I wrote a little about the North, because it's where I'm from. I'm not sure which has a higher rate of homelessness- I assume it is the North but not 100% sure, so don't take my word for it. Even if less of it happens in the South, it's still an important issue because people are on the streets. Homelessness is an immense problem in the UK (and that includes, Scotland, Wales and Northen Ireland too), so we all need to be aware of the huge problem our nation faces.

Homelessness In The North Of England
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  • TreeO2
    Thanks, I garuntee he appreciated it. The spending it on drugs thing is a good concern even though it isn't all of them. There are some places that let them stay the night, or have free food from certain times on certain days, but only in a small amount of those places from what I've seen exist.

    I was trying to escape a shitty family situation last summer with someone else, and we had to sleep outside a lot and stay in different places throughout the day, this one lady brought us a bunch of water bottles because of the heat, it felt bad not being able to buy them myself, but was grateful. In a better place now but it really can happen due to a lot of different reasons and seems to be a big issue.
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • Taylor_C
    Homelessness will continue to increase all over Europe as the welfare systems collapse because of too little input with too much output because of large scale immigration of poorly educated people that are not attractive on the labor market.
    Like 1 Person
    • NyfikenSyd

      Ah. The "immigrants did it" defense. Come on, you can be better than that.

    • kuame

      You can't blame immigrants for increased homeless people, most homeless are country men. C'mon don't say that.

    • NyfikenSyd

      For people like @Taylor_C it's easier to blame someone else. That way it's not my country, my society, me that is the problem or who needs to do something about it.

      Blame "them" and the problem is magically out of your hands.

    • Show All
  • Gottabsavagee
    That’s very nice of you to have a heart for them.

    I feel terrible for them but in a way I believe if they wanted to get out of this situation, they for sure would find a job or find other solutions. However I don't know the whole situation.
    Like 1 Person
    • I mean we live in different places so it's different right?

      Here, it can be really hard to get a job if you've got a home, let alone if you're homeless- and sometimes people just need the little little things to help them. :)

    • I thought in UK, everything was easy. That’s what I was told hmm

    • Hahahaha, everything is easy?

      Maybe if you're upper-class but otherwise... No. Let's just say my secondary school was in £4 million debt, and I think it's reaching £5 million now.

  • outthere
    I was homeless this past winter in north west USA. I got injured and lost my job, couldn't find work, then boom, I'm sleeping outside. I was eternally grateful for any little thing. You are a blessing and I'm very happy people like you exist. I'm back on my get now and i per it to people helping me get back up.
    Like 3 People
    • Aww I'm glad to know you're getting back on your feet, I'm sure the people who helped you are amazing :) <3

  • Stingray444
    Well, the while situation is sad really. Tho, I give to the homeless at times, but I'm not only afraid that it'll be spent to fulfill their addiction, but also that's they are lying about being homeless as they're only dressing up to look/act like it to get free money.

  • Edanurus
    Well here's the problem, the system isn't setup to help but certianly to be abused.

    I ran into someone who was homeless yet they had been given a flat to live in. Unfortunately the block of flats were full of heroin addicts so every month when he got his benefits they would break through his door steal his benefits and beat the hell out of him. Police didn't/couldn't care so the taxpayers paying for an empty flat.
  • colin77
    well said young man, but one u hav to understand that society is build his way so th rich cud remain rich and th poor continue in th same faith, because corruption build th system we live under, if there's no corruption there's no need for politicians, judges, lawyers, doctors etc
    • I knew the basic concept of "the rich making themselves richer, and making the poor, poorer"

      But the way you put it, made me think about it in a different way, and kind of shook me. Thank you :) <3

      PS: I'm a girl :)

    • colin77

      u are welcome

  • Ámayas_20
    Welcome to the real world. It's awful and bad things happen, if you believe this can be sorted any time soon look a bit harder.

    I speak as someone who has been homeless no one cares.
    • Waffles731

      Well we at least have to try to make things better, or else what are we as a species

    • Waffles731

      I don't have much but I often give a dollar

    • Ámayas_20

      Which is lovely and honestly it'll mean a lot but it won't help the problem what so ever.

    • Show All
  • Gedaria
    Yes. I can understand your feelings, I use to live in Leeds, the streets are full of them, they have come asking money for a coffee, I said I can by one and a sandwich if you like. All I got , F Off..
  • Girther10
    I understand what you’re saying, and I want y9 commend you for bringing up this issue. I’m an American so I don’t know much about that issue in your country. I know it sounds a lot like our homeless problem here in USA.
    Keep being showing the empathy, and if you truly want to know what you should do, you’ll likely not get that from us here, at least not me.
    Follow your heart, look into the issue yourself. Talk to the people next time, even if you don’t have anything to offer, ask them what you can do. Very situation is different, yet they obviously have many similarities. Follow your gut. It will become more clear what to do with a little time. But you are the architect of your own destiny.
    Each of us, as human beings, know what’s right, and most of us figure out our own way, and when to know when to do the right thing.
    • Thank you :)

      From what I have seen on the media - that's mainstream and social media - homelessness in the USA does seem like a huge problem too which is awful because the USA is another first world country. Homelessness shouldn't happen in any country- it's not right.

      Thank you for the device :)

  • Sevenpointfive
    yeah, never give them money. but even if that snickers wasn't for him, it got him a hit of crack. true homeless people wait outside of shelters for soup. not all of them are addicted to drugs or alcohol but most are.

    i had a plan on buying a piece of land away from society for squatting but i never followed through because the homeless people in my town are entirely disrespectful and abuse kindness. if free treatment centers to help them with their addiction and mental health were set up in vacant buildings it might help some but not all. i think the idea has been tried and failed, which is why it was never continued.
  • 0oGreyo0
    I live in California and we have the worse area of homelessness called skid row its a literal area where all the homeless people live. The air smell bad and right across the street. A lot of them are mentally ill and drug-addicted or just in hard times. What's worse is across the street from skid row see these 2,000-4,000 dollars apartments.

    I wanted to do a documentary/ interview with a few homeless people is pay them for their time and maybe get them some goodwill/thrift store interview. And ask them their story. I might take them out to eat while we talk.
    • Good on you for attempting to make these people heard, may Allah (God) bless you. :) <3

  • kuame
    @Taylor_C why are you trying to blame others for what they are not responsible for.
    • Taylor_C

      Are you stupid? Can´t you read? Politicians made a horrible mistake by letting too many immigrants into Europe. People are now starting to feel the effects as the traditional welfare states crack and crumble under the burden of the costs. Increased homelessness in one of the effects.

    • kuame

      @Taylor_C well I guess you are the most stupid person I have ever argue with.

    • kuame

      Stop being a stingy racist, Europe is belongs to human beings not European only, lazy fool.

    • Show All
  • Iamagoodguy
    As of what I know we are but it’s not a overnight thing
  • Elíptica
    Like 1 Person
  • PeanutbutterSky